In business, resources are always limited, which means using them wisely for the greatest return. It’s true of how you approach your production lines, employee schedules, and facilities management, and it should apply to your marketing efforts too. If you’re like many companies, you have tools, staff, and a budget in place for marketing already. But are they being used as well as they could be? Here’s our take on the smartest ways to deploy marketing resources.
1. Make the Most of Your Digital Marketing Tools
Computerized marketing tools are one area where the results you get are directly proportional to the resources you put in: no software package magically produces leads and keeps track of contacts on its own. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software is probably the best-known example, but marketing automation tools are available for tasks like email distribution and tracking, website traffic management, social media management and more.
"Computerized marketing tools are one area where the results you get are directly proportional to the resources you put in: no software package magically produces leads and keeps track of contacts on its own." Tweet this.
Without a doubt these tools can be expensive, but according to CRM software producer Salesforce, “Nucleus Research has concluded that on average investment returns for CRM systems range from $5.60 to $8.71 for every dollar spent. On the other hand, if you fail to properly educate your employees on how to use CRM, then the entire tool becomes little more than an expensive filing system.”
If you suspect you’re not using your CRM or other tools to their fullest capabilities, don’t abandon them until you look for areas to improve and make adjustments to how you use it. You could be sitting on a mountain of untapped and underutilized functions!
To look at it another way, you wouldn’t get rid of a piece of manufacturing equipment because it has new features no one has taken the time to learn, nor would you let it sit idle if it wasn’t being used to capacity. Rather, you’d make sure operators were trained to use the equipment and all of its features, and you’d make adjustments in your production line to boost throughput on the machine.
The same holds true for marketing software. To reap the benefits of digital tools, you must commit resources to critical roles: maintaining and managing contact data, creating reports and custom data analytics, automating workflows for email and callback reminders, segmenting and organizing data, and developing rules for consistent data entry. Once you have a dedicated core team up and running, ensure everyone who uses the software, from marketing to sales to customer service, is trained and accountable for using the tools regularly.
2. Consider Outsourcing Some or All Marketing
Another way to use resources effectively is to outsource some or all of your marketing operations. This is a valid option whether your business has an existing team or a single person in charge of marketing. As noted in the 2018 B2B Marketing Mix Report by Sagefrog Marketing Group, “63% of B2B marketers report using a marketing agency to handle some or all of their marketing program.”
To cover all the bases of modern marketing, you need expertise in several areas: project management, content (e.g. blog, email, video, ebooks, graphics), digital media, social media, data management and reporting, and industrial market strategy and planning. While related, these skills don’t have a lot of overlap, which means you generally need a team. Think of how much that would cost to hire in-house!
In contrast, a dedicated marketing agency will deploy the precise percentage of each skill necessary to meet your specific needs and complement your existing on-staff abilities. In the end, it’s a highly customizable approach that is far more cost effective than hiring a set of employees to cover all of these skills. Even if it were possible for one individual to have all the necessary skills, there aren’t enough hours in a day for a solitary person to do all of it well.
"A dedicated marketing agency will deploy the precise percentage of each skill necessary to meet your specific needs and complement your existing on-staff abilities." Tweet this.
Outsourcing looks different for each client depending on their needs. Examples include:
- ongoing work on single campaign
- digital marketing
- content development and creation
- developing, testing, and implementing a full marketing and sales strategy
If you already outsource tasks like employee recruiting, taxes, product packaging, or design or CAD work, strengthening your marketing efforts with an outside partner might be a logical next step.
As a side note on the growing gig economy, you might try to rely on individual consultants and freelancers to make up an ad hoc team. But you’ll still end up doing a great deal of the coordinating to keep everyone on the same page, which is time consuming and risky. By contracting with an existing team from a full-service agency, you have the advantage of the team’s history working together as a cohesive group.
Whether you choose to optimize your existing digital marketing tools (and the staff using them!) or decide that outsourcing makes sense in your situation, you won’t go wrong by allocating resources to fit your needs. Not sure which option is right for you? Acadia can help.